After 30 years, rap's cultural influence pretty much makes it synonymous with pop music. But when the two fuse for the perfect mix of flava (not a typo) and Top 40 charm to create an even bigger monolith, magical moments can often ensue. With the Milester's current embrace of the Pop/Rap technique in full swing, it seemed like a good idea to highlight the best of this chart-topping class of hybrids.
We bring to you 15 Pop Princess/Rap Combos We Love
Jennifer Lopez feat Ja Rule – “I'm Real”
Booty Pop Princess: Jenny From the Block
Rapper: Ja Rule
Producer: Channel 7
This track as well as “Ain't It Funny”, also produced by 7, helped Ja Rule find some mainstream fame, thus some love in the pop community that gave him virtually no love until that thriving year of 2001, where he landed this song along with two other reach number one of the Hot 100. J. Lo sang her way back into the hearts of rap fans who were bitter about her break up with Diddy shortly before.
Hayley Williams feat. BoB – “Airplanes”
Pop Princess: Hayley Williams
Producer(s): Alex da Kid, DJ Frank E
If any teenagers' moms had problems with rappers and their misogynistic, vulgar styles, B.o.B.'s humble, introspective verses definitely offered another lens through which they could see the genre. On the other hand, rap fans couldn't get over the fact that a female named Hayley on track with an MC wasn't Eminem's daughter.
Lily Allen feat T-Pain – “5 O'Clock”
Pop Princess: Lily Allen
Fortunately, for Lily Allen, T-Pain was able to make the UK songstresses' unsuccessful single–it only reached 39 on the UK charts–a mega smash in the states with this stellar production. In the name of T-Pain's fortune, he was able to get some more airplay with the use of Autotune, while winning some acceptance amongst soccer moms.
Britney Spears feat. Pharrell – "Boys” (remix)
Pop Princess: Britney Spears
Rapper Contribution: Pharrell
Producer: The Neptunes
If you're at all normal, you had to hear more of the track that played as Britney slapped an ever so horny Austin Powers to a rhythm (see the intro of Goldmember for reference). If you had any kind of love for hip-hop or VA, you'd have ecstatic but not so surprised to find out the Neptunes made the beat after observing their trademark string arrangements.
Taylor Swift feat. T pain – "Thug Story”
Pop Princess: T Swizzle
Rap Contribution: T-Pain
The best part about this song is that the Country/Pop star's bars on the track rival those of other lighter skinned artists who've recently made a transition to the rap game. Worst part about it is that it aired exclusively at the Country Music Awards and failed to disseminate the way an actual track would, thus leaving us without a producer to credit.
Gwen Stefani feat. Eve ” Rich Girl”
Pop Princess: Gwen Stefani
As a member of No Doubt, Gwen Stefani has frequently found herself in this flux from being categorized as a rock, ska, or punk. But when she steps out on her own, there's no question she takes on the role of full-on Pop Queen. And Eve's gutter but erogenous persona fits so well on this classic beat (Dr. Dre) reminiscent of the days before Ryan Seacrest got all the way on our nerves.
Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg – "California Gurls”
Pop Princess: Katy Perry
Producer(s): Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Benny Blanco
Uncle Snoop has collaborated with pretty much every single of the 7 billion humans on Earth. From Willie Nelson, to a track with Miley -which will not be featured on this list due to its awfulness- this West Coast anthem featuring the voluptuous Perry was one of the best Kat-Dog combinations since that odd show that used to come on Nickelodeon. Much props must go out to Dr. Luke and Max Martin who've been the masterminds behind Perry's success since her "Hot n Cold” days.
Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller – "The Way”
Pop Princess: Ariana Grande
Rapper: Mac Miller
Producer: Harmony Samuels
The 20 year-old Grande hit the scene hard with her debut single earlier this year. While Grande's career started off with a humongous boom, producer Harmony Samuels and Mac Miller, who delivered one of the cutsiest verses we've heard in a while, had their most successful contributions. Though she's drawn some Mariah Carey comparisons lately, we're all reluctant to call this song the next "Fantasy”, which boasted a feature from the late ODB.
MIA – "Paper Planes”
Pop Princess/Rapper: M.I.A.
Producer(s): Diplo, Switch
Reaching #4 on the charts, the Sri Lankan princess' debut was made famous over again when Hov, T.I., Lil Wayne, and Yeezus sampled it for "Swagga Like Us”. Though we haven't heard much from the hottest social activist in the world, Diplo's been on tear with group Major Lazer.
Fergie feat. Ludacris – "Glamorous”
Pop Princess: Fergie
Producer: Polow Da Don
San Gabriel Valley's Fergie enlisted Luda for a track on one of the feel good songs of year back in 2007. Being a step away from Ferg's usual style with Black Eyed Peas, and something different for the "How Low” MC, the collab bid well, resulting in her second chart-topping hit and Luda's fourth. Polow Da Don, the man behind "Drop it Low” and "Baby by Me,” was able to flex his versatility with the dazzling chart topper.
Keri Hilson feat. Kanye West – "Knock You Down”
Pop Contribution: Ms. Keri Baby
Rapper: Kanye West
Producer: Surprisingly not Kanye, but Danja
Even Taylor Swift and Paparazzi give big ups to this ode to a resilient love life. THIS IS ONE OF GREATEST POP/RAP COLLABOS OF ALL TIME!!!
Katy Perry feat. Juicy J – "Dark Horse”
Pop Contribution: Katy Perry
Rapper: Juicy J
Producer(s): Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Cirkut
With Juicy J's career being as hot as its ever been right now and Katy Perry just being plain hot, the track off of the very grown up new album Prism is something you'd love to get a lap dance to at a strip club. Also, preteens are gonna be so hyped to rap along with Juicy at lunches across the country.
Wale feat. Lady Gaga – "Chillin'”
Pop Princess: Lady Gaga
Producer(s): Cool N Dre
Before his signing to MMG, Wale was not the poet we've all come to love. Sadly for Top 40 lovers everywhere, that would hinder the possible follow up to this fun track. Funny enough, Gaga is not the pop music czar she was a few years ago lessening the possibility of us seeing her on another hit with a fire-spitting MC.
Ms Jade feat. Timbaland N Nelly Furtado – "Ching Ching”
Pop Contribution: Nelly Furtado
Rapper: Ms. Jade
Ms. Jade slipped into obscurity relatively quickly–perhaps because she sounded so much like Eve who was just as relevant at the time. But before it was all over, she dropped a few jewels that weren't hindered in the least by the beat maestro Timbaland and his Hoops-rockin' go-to gal, Nelly Furtado. What about her Ching Ching Ching?!
Justin Bieber feat. Nicki Minaj – "Beauty and a Beat”
Pop Princess: Justin Bieber
Rapper: Nicki Minaj
Producer: Max Martin, Zedd
We know that both of the featured artists in this song can get a little annoying at times, but we can't deny the party value of this "cleverly” titled collab. The star power manufactured made by these artists crossed with producers who've had their hand in Pop culture for the last few years made this with one an undeniable fit for radio rotations around the world.
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